Sierra Leone News & Information

State House | Press Union | Lumley Beach | AllAfrica | SL-Web

  Giving Knowledge to the People
welcome to sierra leone's premier news source
Last Updated: May 22nd, 2009 - 18:33:12 
Front Page 
 Breaking News
 Local News
 Photo News
 Video News
 Moiie's Column
 Role Models
 Awareness Lady
 Common Man
 Special Messages
 Legal Matters

Published online by
Sylvia Blyden Dot Com

17 Garrison Street,
Sierra Leone.
Tel: +232-77-772001
Tel: +232-88-321000
Tel: +232-76-350077
Tel: +232-30-321001

NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, Sylvia Blyden Makes Second Appearance; Bail Changed to 100 Million for Publishing False Statement
By Bintu Aminata Sesay
May 22, 2009, 17:24
Email this article
 Printer friendly page

The Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of one of the leading and most widely circulated newspapers in Sierra Leone, Awareness Times, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, yesterday Thursday 21st May 2009, made her second appearance at Court No.1 presided over by Magistrate Steven Conteh, to answer to charges related to libel against the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in an alleged conspiracy to bring disaffection between himself and his wife, the First Lady Sia Koroma.

Sylvia Blyden Surrounded by supporters in Court

The drama that unfolded in court yesterday, left many who had stormed the court room to witness the hearings with the impression that a well orchestrated high level State plan is underway to jeopardize the safety of the Awareness Times publisher.

Apparently, some people seem unhappy with the granting of Dr. Blyden of a self bail (released on her own recognizance) the day before, when they had speculated that she would be denied bail and yanked off to be kept behind bars.

Impeccable sources intimate that court sessions at Court No. 1 normally start any time after 10:00am and that this has been the normal practice since the current Presiding Magistrate took over.

As if something extraordinary was planned, yesterdays court sittings at Court No. 1 started well before 10:00am, much to the surprise and suspicion of all present to witness the proceedings.

The Lead Prosecutor in the matter, Robin Mason, who happens to be the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), yesterday entered the court room as early as 9:00am and immediately the Magistrate hurried into the Court, DPP announced the absence of Dr. Sylvia Blyden, who had earlier left for the ladies room. Blydens relatives who had been seated next to her in the Court made a loud appeal that she had just stepped out of the court but the DPP vehemently kicked against this calling for an immediate Bench Warrant to be made and for her bail to be seized and for her to be sent off to Pademba Road Prisons. His request was granted speedily by the Presiding Magistrate.

However, even before the Warrant could be penned down and signed, Blyden stepped back into the Court but was then told she was under arrest. The DPP had by then walked out brushing past Blydens lawyers in the corridors who had been expecting the Court to start at its usual time. All of this including Blydens re-appearance in Court, occurred well before 10:00am.

Her Lawyers, who also appealed for the matter to be re-mentioned, got brushed aside by the Presiding Magistrate who said he would only re-open the matter and rescind the Warrant if the DPP Robbin Mason came back into the Court.

Fortunately, another lawyer, Kweku Lisk Esq. had a matter involving the DPP himself on the other side and he mentioned the matter which was stood down in order to wait for the DPP to come back into the Court. After about half an hour, a message was relayed back to the Court from the Law Officers Department that although the DPP had other matters to handle in that court like the one involving Kweku Lisk, the DPP had made a decision not to return back to that Court yesterday.

There was an uproar which caused the Presiding Magistrate to order for Silence in Court!

Eventually, after several other local lawyers added themselves pro-bono to Blydens Defence Team, the Presiding Magistrate saw reason to re-allow the matter to be re-mentioned and then he admonished Sylvia Blyden that next time if she was leaving a court in which she had a matter pending, she should tell the Court Clerk that she was going to the toilets.

However, the Lead Defense Counsel, Lawyer Ngakui, whilst profusely apologizing for the absence of Dr. Blyden at the specific moment in time, noted that she had not been inside the court room but within the Courts precincts in the ladies room. He also pointed out that it was a matter of seconds between the matter being called, the Bench Warrant granted and Blyden showing up again from the toilets.

Although Magistrate Steven Conteh accepted the apology of Lawyer Ngakui on behalf of Dr. Blyden, he however revisited her "self-bail" conditions and imposed a total bail of one hundred million leones and two sureties. The Court then requested for landed conveyances which were all submitted before Blyden was set free from the Courts at around 3:15pm.

One of Sylvia Blydens sureties was the dynamic President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Umaru Fofana who dropped everything he was doing yesterday including an important BBC international assignment, so as to get to the Courts. He quickly filled out the Bail Forms, submitted passport photos and signed all necessary documents in support of Blydens Bail. Fofana met scores of angry journalists and other human rights activists already at the courts.

Meanwhile, a press release from State House yesterday informed that the President/Head of State had hosted some members of Sierra Leones Justice Sector inside his offices for a closed doors tte--tte. The exact contents of the discussions were not revealed. However, many people now know that several powerful persons were not at all happy with the Judiciary for the decision to grant a self-bail condition to Sylvia Blyden in a matter that involved the Head of State himself as a possible complainant.

The matter itself has been adjourned to Tuesday May 26th 2009 when the State will start its prosecution of Sylvia Blyden for a matter of conspiracy to incite disaffection within the Presidents marital home by publishing a false statement.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
In Sierra Leone, Sylvia Blyden Makes Second Appearance; Bail Changed to 100 Million for Publishing False Statement
In Sierra Leone, Rastas Form Council
Commission of Inquiry on Poor Educational Standard set up in Sierra Leone
Antecedent of My Piece on Kailahun Mess has nothing to do with Sia Koroma or John Benjamin
Fugitive Because of Arabella?
Applauding SLPPs John O. Benjamin
Commending the ONS for its Frank Talk to Security Personnel
A Frustrated Former APC Member Speaks Up Against Violence and Lawlessness in Sierra Leone.
Retraction & Apology
Front Page of Friday May 8th 2009 Edition of the State House Newspaper
Chief Justice Assures Red Cross
Quotable Quotes: Wise Men Control Their Tempers & Use their Brains
Solomon Ekuma Berewa Gets Surprise 70th Birthday Party
Sierra Leone's Kha-Benneh Bangura Wants Your Votes
Goapele, Daddy Saj and Mahala @ Zanzibar on Night of Saturday 26th
Bio Data Of The Former President Of The Republic Of Sierra Leone Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
A Chat With Sierra Leones First Doctorate Chartered Accountant: Dr. Dante Alie Bendu (B.Sc Hons, M.Sc, M.A., FeICM, ACCA, PhD)
Sierra Leonean Woman Excels In UK
Kailahun SLPP MP frowns at Finance Minister in Sierra Leone
Sept 23: Millicom Sierra Leone bounces back
Romanian buys more Sierra Leone Diamonds shares
Sierra Leone Peoples Party National Secretariat
Cement Price Reduction Press Release
Office of Diaspora Affairs for the 2009 Job Fair
Statement By The Chairman Of The UK & Ireland Branch At The Prayer And Intercession Service To Commemorate The 58th Anniversary Of SLPP
Sierra Leone Envoy Launches Sierra College Foundation (SCF) in the UK
Contracting Authority: The ECOWAS Commission Support to Regional Integration in West Africa
Zain Africa Challenge - 2009
Now In Stores
ProCredit Bank
An Afflicted Cow FookFook Brain Manufactures Ronshos, Diamba, Gnomes, Rubber-Fack & Leprechauns; Desires to Import Machiavelli into a Democracy
Mama Salone Laments 48 Years of Freedom and Independence
Tourist Attraction: Office Of The President & Ministry Of Tourism & Culture should take note
Sincere Congratulations to Reverend Wilfred Leeroy Kabbs-Kanu from Sierra Leone
Awareness Times to re-open its Anonymous Discussion Forum

Copyright © 2005 - 2007, Awareness Times Sierra Leone; All Rights Reserved.
Hosted & Designed by West Africa Dot Net